Feleti Mateo may have big shoes to fill this season but the former Warrior has urged fans not to compare him to previous Sea Eagles back rowers Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart.
Mateo, accompanied by front rowers Willie Mason and Luke Burgess, was signed by the club in a bid to fill the void left by the departure of a number of veteran forwards at the end of last season.
He insists he wants to bring his own style to the Sea Eagles and isn’t looking to play in the shadows of those before him.
“[Watmough and Stewart] did a lot of good stuff for the club and all I can do is come in and do what I can,” Mateo said. “I’m not looking to replace anyone but try and do what I can do and just back myself.”
After another long pre-season the Sea Eagles kick-off their 2015 campaign against archrivals Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium.
Having spent five seasons with the Eels, Mateo admits coming up against his former club in his maiden appearance for the maroon and white will be a special occasion.
“I’m really looking forward to it, especially going back out to Parramatta where all my family is. They’ll all be there cheering me on, so it will be interesting. It’s going to be funny putting on the Manly jersey but it will be a very proud moment,” Mateo said.